How Deployments Taught Me About the Importance of Family Time with DAV
My husband has been home from his last deployment for almost three years now. He deployed 4 times to both Iraq and Afghanistan within 7 years. He left for the first time in 2006, returning at the end of 2007. He then deployed again in 2008, 2011 and 2013. He returned from what might have been his very last deployment in December of 2013.
Over the years since then, we have been able to get back to a more normal life. Although he has worked in civilian jobs where he has been away at times and he has his monthly guard duties, he has not been away for an extended amount of time since 2013. As a wife, I am very happy about this. As a mother, I am glad my boys don’t have to miss their father anymore.
During all our deployments, I learned a lot about myself. I learned how to be more patient, that the little things don’t matter quite as much and that family time is precious.
Family Time is Important
Now that deployments are in my past, I look at our time together as something we sometimes had to go without. Whether we are all just hanging out together at home, going to the park or the movies or out on a day trip, I never want to forget what it was like to not have that.
There were plenty of weekends where I sat in my house alone with little children while I watched friends and even family spend time together. There have been plenty of times I have turned down invitations and not been able to go places because it was too difficult to do as the only parent. My husband has missed anniversaries and all the other holidays at one point or another.
These days, I try to plan for our family to do something together every weekend. We take advantage of what our community has to offer and enjoy going to parks and sometimes out to see a new movie. We took a lot of pool trips together this summer. We haven’t been able to travel too much lately but I’m hoping for a trip in the future that we can take together.
When you are able to spend that family time together on a regular basis, you are able to create memories with your children in a different way than when one of their parents is gone.
After four deployments, I am always aware of how special family time can be. I hope that I will never take advantage of being able to have my husband home with us on a regular basis. When he isn’t home, the days are just not the same. Deployments can be hard on a military spouse but I have learned that they can also help you become a better person with a different perspective on life.
DAV Victories for Veterans
America’s veterans achieve personal victories overcoming challenges great and small each and every day! DAV (Disabled American Veterans) is a nonprofit organization that is on a mission to help veterans succeed after military service and get the benefits they were promised.
Here is a little bit about what DAV is doing:
- Each year, DAV helps veterans file more than 300,000 claims for VA benefits and stays with them through every step of the process.
- DAV volunteers provide more than 700,000 rides each year to help veterans get to and from medical appointments at no cost to the veteran.
- With nearly 1.3 million members, DAV’s powerful voice ensures that veterans are heard at the local, state and Federal level.
- With nearly 1,300 chapters, DAV provides a national network of local support for veterans and their families.
Each year, they help more than one million veterans of all generations in life-changing ways. You can visit their website to learn more.
DAV (Disabled American Veterans) is a non-profit organization that is on a mission to help America’s veterans achieve more victories. To learn more about DAV, visit dav.org.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of DAV. The opinions and text are all mine. While I am proud to support DAV and their mission, I have not been a beneficiary of DAV services.